I am fourteen.
Fourteen when he tells me to keep my eyes low.
To not look at them.
At men. At boys. Everything male.
Because looking them in the eye means
That I want to have sex, that I’m open for business.
Looking at them means encouraging them,
It’s a dare, it’s a yes, he says to me, the fatherly figure,
Trying to educate me about the world,
My sex that does not have a name in his mouth,
But must be chaste, must be composed, must be
Kept shut at all cost, mine.
Don’t you dare to smile, that’s the
Cherry on top, that’s an open invitation to all.
If you look a certain way they think you’re a slut, a whore,
All of a sudden he found words for everything.
I can’t go to the beaches in Italy because
Horny men and teenaged boys will hunt me down,
Tourist girls, take them to the beach and seduce them,
Use them for sex.
I am a signal.
I can’t do anything on my own because
They are the ones with the bad thoughts,
The rotten mind.
But you are daddy’s little girl, don’t dress
Like a whore.
I am fourteen years old.
I feel trapped. I feel like trash.
I don’t have a chance at all.
Am I to exist in these parameters that
He has just outlined?
That wherever I go I need to be afraid?
Nothing do I know about
Female sexual desire,
My own body,
Everything this man tells me comes from the outside.
Has nothing to do with me.
He keeps on talking, so proudly, thinking
He knows it all, thinking he is actually helping me.
He painted a picture for me and I stand cornered,
And frustrated, reduced, condemned from the get-go.
And I fall straight into all the traps,
And lost my way before realising that
I had one. And it is not his.
“Dreiviertelportrait einer Dame mit Hut in gelbem Kleid” by Eduard Veith (1858-1925)